The classrooms of The Community College of Aurora, which operates two campuses in suburban Denver, have long echoed with the sound of diversity thanks to the more than 60 countries (and 71 languages) represented in its English as a Second Language program. Given the fact that many of those voices were clamoring to studying health care at the school, the school knew it needed to find a way to better serve its students. As a result the Aurora, Colorado-based community college has developed a unique method of ESL education that does exactly that. With its new dual-teaching model CCA is now able to capitalize on the large number of its non-native English students that go on to pursue a health care degree at the school at the conclusion of their English studies.
The Dual-Teaching Model
CCA’s dual-teaching model works to bridge the linguistic gaps between ESL and Health Sciences coursework and, in so doing, allows students to work towards their first Health Science credits while completing their final ESL classes. Although ESL students at CCA have long been able to move on to college classes after finishing their advanced ESL coursework, this new approach means that students can study both education subjects at the same time. Not only does this increase efficiency and maximize student time but it also gives CCA a competitive recruitment tool.
Although uncommon, CCA’s program is by no means the first of its kind. The dual-teaching model is catching on around the country, offering students in states as diverse as like Illinois, Minnesota, Washington, and Virginia the opportunity to be at the cutting-edge of ESL education. Such programs different from place to place but all work to help students acquire the kinds of foundational skills they will need in their actual studies. As a result more ESL students than ever can better understand and contextualize the kind of terminology the will need in their careers and, in so doing, help ensure their own success.